On Thursday February 13, a prominent minister and activist in Detroit turned himself in to the Detroit Police Department and was charged with domestic violence against his wife. Rev. Horace L. Sheffield III, minister at New Destiny Baptist Church, was booked, charged, and released on a $7,500 bond, according to news reports at Mlive.com. Sheffield was also charged with preventing a crime report.
Sheffield was charged following an incident which occurred on Monday at the couple’s home in the 19000 block of Warrington. Sheffield and his wife, Dianna L. Solomon, are in the process of getting a divorce; the minister filed for divorce from his wife in November of last year, according to Wayne County Circuit Court records.
Solomon had returned to the couple’s home after moving out to gather some belongings when an argument ensued. Solomon then attempted to call police when Sheffield tried to take her cell phone away. According to Sheffield’s spokesman Adolph Mongo, the issue should have been worked out in divorce court, not criminal court, as the case is about a cell phone rather than physical violence.
Police reports indicate that Solomon was not in fear for her life, and that there was no physical contact other than Sheffield grabbing his wife’s phone. In Michigan, preventing a person from calling 911 is considered domestic violence.
Solomon is active in the Michigan Democratic Party and is chairman of the Detroit Ecumenical Ministers Alliance.
In the state of Michigan, domestic assault is typically charged as a misdemeanor for a first or second offense. Domestic assault does not require that the victim sustains injury. The criminal penalties for domestic assault include up to 93 days in jail and fines of up to $500 for a first-time offender if convicted.
If you or someone you know has been accused of domestic violence, contact an experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer right away. It is important you take swift action in order to avoid loss of your freedom and stiff penalties; it is also important to protect your reputation and career.